In the modern world we live in, with the plentitudes of consoles available and with PC gaming easily accessible to all newcomers, it is often hard to look past those fancy graphics and great “pay respects” mechanics to more traditional gaming. Though there are still clubs and meet-ups for those who want to play Dungeons and Dragons or other RPGs, the good old-fashioned board games are often shunned by the wayside. Which is why it’s all the more important to find the shining examples of this medium whilst it’s still available.
With Halloween approaching, it felt right to acknowledge a spook-tacular addition to the traditional gaming circuit; Betrayal at the House On The Hill is a horror game for 3–6 players based around supernatural events transpiring at the eponymous “House On The Hill”, rife with self-aware Gothic clichés and nods to the classics. With mechanics designed to include hundreds of different narrative twists, and a house that changes every time you play the game, this game is one that few people, if any, have managed to play the same way twice.
A tour de force that covers every Gothic trope from cannibalism to Lovecraftian madness, and even touching on legendary items such as the Lesser Key of Solomon, this game is a must-try for any fan of the darker side of life. However, as it heavily relies on your understanding of the genre, whether that be from books, movies or elsewhere, those who dislike such things might want to steer clear. It might not be quite as gory as Dead Space, or as supernaturally unsettling as Insomnia, but nonetheless it might be one to avoid for those with a nervous disposition.